Outfitted with spas and treadmills, Pooch Hotels are nearly the same as human accommodations, with one key difference: your dog might get a tummy-rub with their turndown service. These venues were all designed by dog-lovers whose main priority was canine comfort, regardless of the length of each guest's stay.
Dogs on daycare visits, for example, are sorted by size and temperament before entering one of multiple play areas. Monitored by human "Pack Leaders," they socialize amidst toys, treats, and wading pools at select locations, or run outside if the weather and facilities permit. Those who have booked a room for the night can relax in a private suite, outfitted with a glass door rather than bars. These range from standard to presidential and even palace suites—rooms outfitted with luxury bedding and flat-screen televisions tuned to dog-friendly programming. Customers might also schedule a spa appointment for their pooch, choosing from services such as baths, "pawdicures," and even facials.
The hotels pursue peace of mind for owners as actively as they pamper their dogs. Certain locations have installed web cameras in the play areas and suites, enabling people to check in on their pets and guilt them about the time they napped instead of writing a postcard. Staff remain on-hand at all times to welcome newcomers and care for already-snoozing pups.
Adam and Marisa Beck love their pets almost as much as each other. First meeting as teachers, the couple decided early on that they'd follow their dreams and open a pet facility that educates pooches as they play and mingle under the watchful gaze of an experienced staff. In addition to grooming services, Barkley Square also boards cats and dogs overnight, protecting the health of each pup in their care by requiring tests for DH2PP, giardia, and bordetella. Every overnight stay comes with a full day of play, where dogs can learn the basics of social interaction, such as not pushing other dogs off the monkey bars.
Ten thousand square feet is plenty of space for dogs to run, play, and relax. At Bark Park, dogs play both indoors and outdoors, romping onto play structures, catching balls between their teeth, and discussing alternate endings for Homeward Bound as they sunbathe on the grass. The staff supervises its canine charges 24 hours a day, even during overnight stays, and owners can take advantage of other services such as grooming and training sessions.
As the sun shines down, Santa Cruz Pet Resort’s four-legged charges scamper around on the fake turf of its outdoor yards. Broken into groups based on size and temperament, the pups leap on a trampoline, challenge each other to games of Tug of War, cool off in the kiddie pool, or hold poker tournaments inside the house play set. At night, dogs bunk down in clean and heated kennels and can share a family-sized chamber with their brothers and sisters by request. Felines enjoy playtime in the resort's Kitty Cabana, as well as one-on-one attention from staffers. Family-style care is also available, in which pets stay in the resort owner’s home and get first dibs on the remote control.
Animals are fed Eukanuba or Iams food during their stay, and owners can also schedule grooming appointments for their pets with an experienced groomer. With advanced notice, the staffers can also board other domestic pets, such as rabbits, hamsters, or imaginary twins.
At the Animal Hospital of Soquel, the dedicated staff of veterinarians and vet technicians provide medical, surgical, and preventative care, and commit themselves to receiving continuous education. The animal hospital also offers animal dentistry and grooming services through its onsite pet spa. The hospitable groomers grant the furriest members of the family undivided attention while performing pelt-perfecting services for dogs and cats of all breeds and sizes. By providing regular grooming treatments, the team works to prevent issues such as excessive shedding, skin and paw disorders, painful matting, and the smell of last week's forgotten egg salad on the animal's breath.
Combining personal training with play-care, The Grateful Dog caters to canines with an active and stimulating schedule plus a 1:6 handler-to-dog ratio. Over the course of each 12-hour play-care session, day-tripping doggies will enjoy two to three walks, including jaunts to breezy Fort Mason, as well as one-on-one time with a trainer and play time with a handler. The Grateful Dog also pampers pups with organic treats, filtered water, and mini massages before letting them loose to run in circles and bark at invisible aliens free of guilt or any sense of propriety.